Understanding the history of National Inclusion Week

National Inclusion Week began back in 2013, and each year, we’ve chosen different themes to represent the week. Take a look below at which theme was assigned each year, and what it means.

2013: Think Differently

The first theme for National Inclusion Week in 2013 was “Think Differently.” As is in the name, the purpose was to encourage people to reframe their thinking and consider different perspectives.

2014: Be yourself, be the best you can be

In 2014, we chose the theme of “Be yourself, be the best you can be.” This theme is so important and should still be a huge focus of any inclusion and diversity strategy.

Being yourself is extremely important, and people should never feel as though they can’t be themselves or the best they can be.

Organisations must create safe spaces for people to be their true selves, and not feel scared to bring that to work with them.

2015: It Can Be You…

In 2015, we chose the theme of “It Can Be You…” This theme can be interpreted in a few different ways. However, the main focus is that it can be you who makes the change.

Any small change you do, whether it be clocking your unconscious bias, or supporting someone at work – can make a huge difference.

Learning about new things and expanding your inclusion knowledge makes a significant change.

2016: Everyday Inclusion

You may be familiar with this one – as we use it for the title of our members’ newsletter!

Everyday Inclusion is something that has shaped Inclusive Employers and has been at the centre of our growth. The reason we exist as a company and help membership organisations is to create inclusion every day.

No matter who you are, where you are, or what you do, inclusion should be a priority.

2017: Connect for Inclusion

2017 was a year that we invited organisations and individuals to connect, in the name of inclusion.

2018: Everyday Inclusion

Another repeat of what really matters – Everyday Inclusion! This theme is so important, we did it twice.

Again, the power of inclusion is unmatched, especially when it’s happening all around us every day. 2018 had a focus on igniting the inclusion flame and held an emphasis on making inclusion happen as a norm.

2019: Choose to Include

In 2019, the theme was “Choose to Include.” The purpose of this theme is a focus on how organisations, and individuals, should consciously choose to include.

Equality and treating people the same is crucial, and the way to do that is by choosing to include. Whether this is by supporting communities, being an ally, challenging unconscious bias, or simply committing to learning about inclusion topics – you are choosing to include.

2020: Each One, Reach One

In 2020, we focused on reaching out to others to share our inclusion stories. This theme emphasised that each individual person, and organisation, has their own inclusion story to share and can make a positive impact when they do so. We can learn a lot by listening to the experiences of others.

2021: United For Inclusion

Our theme for National Inclusion Week 2021, which had over 60 million people connect with us, was “United for Inclusion.”

This theme has a huge emphasis on how we can all come together to celebrate inclusion and work towards a more inclusive world.

By coming together, and sharing experiences, skills and knowledge – we can keep pushing forward on our inclusion journeys and learning together along the way.

2022: Time to Act, The Power of Now

Our theme for National Inclusion Week 2022 was “Time to Act, The Power of Now”. The theme encapsulates the importance of the present, and how it really is time to act.

We cannot wait for inclusion to happen on its own – it’s our responsibility to push for it and make sure it happens. By acting now, and using the power of unity and inclusion, we can change the world for the better.

2023: Take Action Make Impact

This year’s theme is Take Action Make Impact. The aim of the theme is to inspire people to stop thinking and start moving.

The events and activities for the week, encourage workplaces to understand that they have everything they need to start being a fully inclusive workplace now. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to start somewhere!

This is at the heart of every National Inclusion Week – to guide organisations in knowing that they have the power to make inclusion an everyday part of their workplace today.

How the themes have developed over time

All our themes reflect workplace inclusion over the years. Initially, we started thinking differently and reframing thoughts to be more inclusive. Now, we are focusing on taking action.

Because there is so much more awareness and understanding of inclusion, we’re in a much stronger place to take action that is considered meaningful, and not tokenistic.

Our themes are all around connecting and uniting people to see the power of inclusion and the impact we can have when we work together.

How to get involved with National Inclusion Week

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about National Inclusion Week, what it stands for, and how our themes have progressed over the years.

To get involved with National Inclusion Week this year, click here to register, or if you’re a member, click here for free access to NIW 2023.

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